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wearing some type of metallic canister devices looking like two pipe bombs. this has a small number of hostages and s.w.a.t. team negotiators tried to talk to this james jay lee. they have been in touch and in contact with him. he is 43 years old. he has a history with authorities there dating back two years ago. he has some problem with the discovery channel and their coverage of overpopulation and global warming. >> let's go live now to news 4's aaron gillcrest who has the latest. aaron. >> pat, we're set up on colesville road at east-west highway just a couple of blocks from where the discovery building is and the police presence has been in force through the afternoon. what we're seeing from our vantage point right now is people trying to go about their business. the road here is blocked for vehicular traffic, but there have been a lot of people walking through this area, going about their business.
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some people getting off the metro seeing this huge police presence out here, trying to figure out what's going on. the trains, the metro is running right now. there have been buses coming through this area, but it's been a bit confusing. people are not getting a lot of answers as to what's going on right now and what they need to do. we've got a gentleman here who is just getting off work this afternoon. let's go to the press conference now with montgomery county police. >> at this time, there really isn't anything new to add. what i want to say is that at 5:00 p.m. or sooner, if there's some sort of resolution, we'll come back and provide you with the information we have now at this time. but since chief manger spoke, about 45 minutes ago, there is no new information. we're just continuing to talk with the man and we're hoping this brings about a safe and
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successful resolution. >> okay. >> more than an hour and a half. no new information there. let's listen in. okay. no new information there from captain starks. we want to go back to aaron gillcrest. >> aaron, what do you have for us there? >> guys, i was just making note of the fact that we're starting to get into the rush hour time here in the silver spring area. it's always a busy area to drive through and traffic, as well. but right now, things are starting to pick up as people start to come through this area and are blocked at many turns. we have a gentleman here with us, jim, who was just leaving work today. and you've been telling us that you're trying to figure out to get where you're going this afternoon, right? >> yeah.7รก+zcd.
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>> if we can, we'll provide you the information at that time. >> [ inaudible ]. >> no, i can't. still on the first floor? >> [ inaudible ]. >> no. i can't answer that.
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there is still no confirmed injuries. no reports of any injuries that have been brought to my attention. >> are you afraid he'll hear about it and it will disturb negotiations? >> there are a couple different categories as far as information. some parts of this information we just don't know. some parts we don't want to release because it may affect how we're treating this situation. thank you. >> we just heard from montgomery county police there. they are responding to this ongoing hostage situation there in silver spring. clearly the negotiations with police are continuing this afternoon with this suspect identified as james lee. 43-year-old james lee who has a beef with discovery and its programming. the police do say that there are a small number of hostages being
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held. there are no indications that anyone has been injured in this ordeal. earlier the police chief tom manger confirmed they are talking. they will not talk about what they believe this gunman's demands are. let's go back now to the scene and check in with pat collins. pat? >> reporter: the captain, we just heard him say there wasn't much news since the chief talked but he did say a couple thing of interest. he said as far as police are concerned, there are no known injuries as a result of this incident at the discovery building here in silver spring. he said they are in contact with the suspect. they have been in contact with the suspect since about 1:15 this afternoon. they have a line of communications with them. he said he believes that is by telephone. again, this all began around
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1:00 this afternoon when police just descended on this area after there was a report of a man who came into the discovery building and that he had metallic canisters attached to his body. he had a gun, a handgun and he was waving it around and he will everybody to stand still. stay still. at that point an alert went out into the discovery building telling employees to take cover. lock themselves in their offices. the police came and surrounded this building. the s.w.a.t. team was deployed. they made a sweep of the building where they could. they escorted most of the people, most of the 1,900 employees out of that building. but the chief says there are still a small number of employees are being held hostage by this man who is on the first floor. there is also a possibility there may be other employees secreted somewhere around in the building who are just hiding there in place.
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there was a daycare center near by and daycare workers moved the little babies in cribs, rolling them down the street through the crowd to take them to a safe place. as police moved in, they established communications with this man about 1:15 in the afternoon. that negotiation is still going on. we're now moving into hours of talks back and forth. as long as they can talk to this man, there is a good chance this will end peacefully. let's talk about the traffic and what this has done to silver spring. i'm standing on colesville road. it closed down pretty much from east-west highway all the way up there beyond, if you go up there beyond georgia avenue. georgia avenue is shut down all around the discovery building. wayne avenue shut down here.
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the very heart of silver spring closed down now as we get into rush hour. you can imagine what the side streets are like as people tried to negotiate their way around this incident street. the red line, the metro red line is still operating. you can see passengers up there on the platform waiting for the metro red line. you can also see right now, a marc train that is moving through the area. we've had no word of any delays because of what's going on in the discovery building. we have scores of police out here. they're stationed all around the building. we have police in communication with the suspect who has these strange metallic canisters kachd to himself, who has a small number of hostages, who has a handgun. they're trying to talk him out. time is on their side. they are taking their time. they hope to bring this to a
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peaceful conclusion. pat? >> thank you again. as you pointed out, in contact since 1:15 with the gunman. what i found interesting, obviously, they they have some informing they don't want to release. they cannot confirm the entire building is evacuated. 1,900 employees work here at the world headquarters at discovery. this is the crown jewel of redevelopment there in silver spring and a number of buildings around it have been in lockdown since this all began. >> of course we're in the heart of rush-hour. you know how busy it gets and how traffic literally gets tied up on colesville road and georgia avenue. going through that area. this has struck at the heart of silver spring and everybody who is working there. let's go back now to news4's aaron gilchrist? >> darcy spencer.
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>> you're on the other sight fd building. what's your vantage point from where you are? we see pedestrians around you. >> reporter: we're along georgia avenue with the intersection of cameron street about a block or so away. you can see a lot of activity behind me. a lot of pedestrians and a lot of confusion. people are coming out of their office buildings, trying to figure out what's happening. trying to figure out how to get to the metro station. i had someone come to me and said he was told to go to the tacoma metro station. he said that's a two-mile walk and it's probably, it feel like about 100 degrees out here. so a lot of people out on the streets. a lot of confusion. people trying to figure out what is the situation, asking for an update. some people were out today when all this started to happen and they're very curious to see if this situation has resolved. as we know, it is still ongoing. you can see here in the intersection of cameron and georgia avenue, maryland state
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police is directing traffic. they're here at cameron street helping people to navigate through the area. if people are trying to get to metro stations and get home, they don't have a good command of the roadways, it could be difficult and challenging for those people as they leave their offices today and try to figure out how they're going to get home. particularly if they're using metro and they're not sure how to navigate the streets around here to get to the metro station or in fact to get to a metro bus. metro bus service has been disrupted with some of the road closures in the area. so people really at this point aren't sure where to go. some of them who use the metro system. al was out here about 1:15 this afternoon. he works in the area. when he saw a lot of activity, you were inside the building. tell us what you saw this afternoon. >> it's the first around 1:15, we heard a bevy of police activity on the corner and it was initially just some local
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montgomery county police and then one by one, we saw unmarked cars. then we saw the s.w.a.t. team moving in, then we saw federal police moving in, ambulance, fire and rescue and then a few minutes ago we saw the bomb squad roll in here. it has been nonstop. >> reporter: were you able to find out what had happened and if so, what did you think about someone was holding hostages in the area? >> yes. i think silver spring had a reputation some years ago, but since discovery has been here, it has really help to change this area. it was a surprise. definitely. >> reporter: with everything unfolding, you see the streets blocked off, a lot of pedestrianses in the area. there seem to be a lot of confusion. >> the metro is one block behind the building. we're about two block away here. so i expect it is probably closed two blocks on the other side. so i'm sure people are trying to figure out how to get home at the end of the day and a lot of confusion. >> reporter: it is definitely different than what you would
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see on a typical afternoon. >> just a normal street. not a lot of traffic, especially on a hot day like this. >> reporter: does this affect your business? did you see businesses closing in the area? >> we had a couple people at lunch on the other side of silver spring. so they were forced to sort of go around the long way to get back to the office. not much more than that. >> reporter: and obviously you're hoping for a peaceful resolution to this. >> absolutely. >> reporter: does it make you feel concerned about working in this area? >> no. silver spring is certainly rebuilt over the last several years and to some extent, it is part of living life these days. >> reporter: okay. al, thanks so much for talking to us and sharing with us your experiences today. as we were talking about, there appears to be a lot of confusion in this area. people leaving their jobs and offices this afternoon. this is when a lot of people head home. with the buses in the area, trying to figure out how to pick
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up a bus. they've sent out an e-mail saying try to take 15th street, some alternate routes. a lot of pedestrians out. the road is closed in this area and we'll continue to monitor it with live reports. we'll send it back to you. >> those are major evacuation arteries out of the city. and now some portions of them are being closed off. darcy mentioned confusion as we head into rush hour. this is just beginning. we should let you know the red line is still running. just the south entrance is closed. as she pointed out, some buses, metro buses are being detoured. >> and some school buses have been delayed this afternoon as a result of this. however, most of those, the parents of those students have been notified. again, recapping what has happened here, it is literally
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havoc in the heart of silver spring. inside the lobby of the discovery building. and here is the suspect, james jay lee, a man who has been protesting several years discovery's global warming programming as well as programs about the environment. he has a number of complaints. this is a man who was arrested several years ago for disorderly conduct. he's been ordered to stay at least 500 feet at least from this building. he was given a six-month suspended sentence back then. he has a manifesto where he complain about the programming on discovery and how it has not done enough to eradicate global warming and pollution and has not done enough to save the planet's wildlife. >> that's all on his own website. and there are no indications as we've heard from police and pete williams from nbc of any threats or any violent tendencies. it was a disorderly conduct charge he was convicted on two years ago, organizing protests
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in front of discovery on those very issues that you talked about. we want to go back to captain paul starks from a bit earlier and hear a bit of what he had to say this afternoon. >> my understanding montgomery county police officers are talking with him and that's been continuing for well over an hour, closing on two hours now. >> how many hostages do we have? >> chief manger said 45 minutes ago, a small number. that has not changed. there is still no confirmed injuries. no reports of any injuries that have been brought to my attention. there are a couple different categories here as far as this information. some parts of this information, we just don't know. some parts we don't want to release because it may affect how we're treating this situation. >> we want to show you, these are live pictures from our
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chopper 4 aerials. we have a protest picture with james jay lee. he has been protesting out in front of here. he was first charged about 2008, in early 2008, trying to make out the sign there. save the planet. discovery channel. he was trying to recruit people to join his protest. according to pete williams, he was even throwing money up in the air to try to get people to join him out there in front. this is the man police say walked into the front lobby waving a handgun, wearing metallic canister devices. perhaps two pipe bombs. he is holding a small number of hostages right now. >> if you read just a little, if i may from his writings on the internet, tend discovery channel produces many so call environmental programs, supposedly there to save the planet. but 10 truth is that things are getting worse. the program are causing more harm than good. he mentioned among his demands on the website, finding solutions for global warming,
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automotive pollution, international trade, factory pollution. he says discovery kneads to develop suppose mention how food production leads to the overpopulation of the human race. he mentioned stopping the human race from breeding anymore. i'm reading here, quote, disgusting human babies. he clearly has an agenda. he clearly feels discovery's programming isn't what it ought to be. this is how his protest has grown. >> as we head toward 4:30, we want to get the big picture. another huge concern as we head into this rush hour is traffic on the rails, on the roads by foot, too. as a lot of these office buildings open up. ashley has that big picture for us. >> it is still having far-reaching effects. most of silver spring is still on lockdown. the metro is still open. the wayne avenue entrance is blocked. unconfirmed reports from driver who's are out and about -- not
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drivers but pedestrians trying to leave the parking garage. they set up some of the s.w.a.t. team materials through that area so people can't even get out of the parking lot to leave the silver spring metro. unconfirmed by metro but we do have the police presence that would warrant that. their pace along 410. a couple extra drivers along 410. here one of the closure points at colesville and fenton. you can see nobody is gettingably the but you can pass through the intersection. i can't stress this enough. avoid silver spring altogether. here the pace around the capital beltway. as you're traveling along the bethesda stretch, leaving that your for connecticut avenue, it is looking a little better. you'll see there the second lane from the left, we have a disabled vehicle. it is proving to be another wrinkle in our traffic today. the outer loop will be jammed up
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looking a little better through college park but still pretty heavy toward the silver spring area. we do have some typical rush hour issues. adding to that, a lot of drivers in unfamiliar territory. use caution around town and do expect a very heavy police presence to continue through the silver spring area. back to you. >> we should update you here, there are hostages at this very hour being held inside this building. in the lobby of the discovery channel, the headquarters located there at the intersection of colesville road and georgia avenue in the heart of downtown silver spring. that building has been for the most part, evacuated. most of the 1,900 employees in the building have been evacuated. however, police cannot confirm at this hour whether or not there are others still inside the building. we do know the gunman in this case is james jay lee, is holing what police say is a small
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number of hostages. a small number. >> this picture that we're seeing and showing you now, he was arrested outside,oring protests back in 2008. i believe it was in winter and it looks to be like he's wearing a jacket. he was protesting several days. he was charged and convicted on a disorderly conduct charge and ordered by a judge not to go within 500 feet of the discovery building. well, he is, as we understand it now, still on the first floor of the discovery building with again, a small number of hostages. no word on whether any of the hostages has been injured. and no confer playing that all the employees are out of the building. there are their could be a few on the upper levels. you should know the discovery headquarters houses 1,900 employees. on the first floor, i know what the lobby, there is the daycare center and we do understand that all of the children have now been reunited safely with their
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parents. aaron, what are you seeing out there? >> reporter: we are getting to the time of day where you expect to see a lot more traffic. rush hour getting started. it has been incredibly controlled in this area despite all the commotion going on a couple blocks behind us. we've seen, we've got two police officers at the intersection here who are controlling vehicle traffic. not letting anyone go north on colesville road from east-west highway. over to the silver spring metro station where people have been quiet now. people have been steadily coming off the train and making their way on to buses in this area. or really trying to figure out what's going on. they see the blocked off roads. they see the, they see the police presence over here. and they're trying to figure out what's going on, asking lots of questions of those of us in the media on the scene and anyone
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who might be able to answer someone. you see the intersection of police officers directing some of the vehicle traffic. it has lightened up a little along east-west highway at coleville road. for folks, we talked to someone getting off work. he was not sure if he would be able to have his normal commute home. normally he would catch a bus here at the intersection of colesville and east-west highway. knowing he couldn't go norris on colesville road, he said he sort of left so he could come outside and look around to see what was going on. he hadn't gotten much direction in terms of how he could get home. he thought he might walk to the beltway and meat a friend. that wasn't an option for him. he said he would walk up the road and hopefully catch a bus that would get him to where he's going. some people are a bit frustrated with the lack of information about what they need to do as their workday ends and they're trying to get home now. but considering all that's going on down the road and the danger that is potentially there, these
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folks say they'll deal with it. >> aaron gilchrist reporting live a few block from the discovery building on east-west highway. people of course are impatient at this time. commuters want to get through the area. pedestrians want to know what's happening. our workers and office building adjacent to nearby and around the discovery building who have been asked to stay in their offices. as police have pointed out, the longer these negotiations drag on, the longer this situation stretches out, the better the chance, we're all hoping, this will end peacefully. >> that's what pat collins has been talking about. we've been mentioning this garage at discovery. a lot of people had to leave their vehicles there. can you hear us? >> reporter: baby daycare. pat? >> i think -- pat can you hear us? this is jim and pat.
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>> reporter: i'm here. we're still awaiting another briefing. it will be in about 30 minutes. this started this afternoon when a man with metallic canisters walked into discovery center's lobby, waved a gun, told people just to stay still. and that set off a chain of events that has been going on now for maybe almost, close to four hours. police came to the scene, they surrounded the place, the s.w.a.t. team was deployed. people in the discovery center building were told to lock themselves in their offices. stay down. not to look out. as they looked out, they saw the
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police coming here. they saw the news trucks. they saw the s.w.a.t. team them waited sometimes for a half-hour up to an hour as the s.w.a.t. team went inside the building and made a sweep through the building. eventually, many of the employees, most of the employees were escorted out of the building. they were told to leave, to go home, to leave their purses, their computers, their cars here and just get away to a safe place. then police began to try negotiate with this man. this 43-year-old man. he has protested here before. he had a list of demands. at around 2:15, they had communication. they trade to talk to him then and they are trying to talk to him now strike to bring about a peaceful solution to this whole incident. let's hear now from some of the people who were here when this not good. this is what they said they heard, they saw and they did.
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>> we were coming back from lunch about 1:00. as we got near the discovery building, someone started shouting. a street vendor started shouting. there was a man in there with a gun and we shouldn't go in there. we started seeing everybody back away so we crossed the street to get away. then the police started showing up. >> a notice came over the p.a. system saying there was a situation in the lobby. so we were trying to get to offices and be safe and looking out the window at the same time and seeing police circling around the building. and then a note came through saying there was believed to be a gunman in the building. >> we were told to lock ourselves in offices. there was an issue in the lobby. a gunman in the lobby and for to us lock ourselves in the offices. then they told us to evacuate to a nearby stair well and all of
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us came down. >> reporter: what do you make of this? >> just scared. >> reporter: there are about 1,900 people who work here at discovery. the police chief said he believes most of those people are out of the building. he believes it is possible, there may be some people who are still hiding up there. secreted inside the building. he says there are still a small number of hostages that this man has on the first floor of that building. they continue to negotiate with him, trying again to get him to surrender. one of the most poignant scenes we saw here today was a daycare center that was moved out. the little babies wheeled down the street in the cribs by the daycare workers, away from the discovery building, off to a safe place. the chief said he believes those little babies have been reunited now with their parents.
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we have a gunman inside, he has the metallic canisters strapped to his body. he has a small number of hostages. so far no one has been injured in this incident. the line of communication are still open. they're talking to the man. they're trying to get him to second-degree murder. hopefully that will come soon. at 5:00, we expect another briefing here. now back to you. >> all right. pat collins. thank you on the scene there as we continue to show live pictures from chopper 4 right now of discovery. one reason we're not showing the lobby is apparently, not apparently, there are many monitors as in any network or a tv station. television monitors throughout the lobby. we don't know whether they are activated or deactivated. but we are taking preexhaustion that way. >> we do know that police, montgomery county police say they've been in contact with the gunman. apparently by phone since about want:15 this afternoon.
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since about 1:15 this afternoon. we don't know what the gunman may have told them he is demanding. as we have stated earlier, we read some of his writings on the internet. and according to what he has written, he wants discovery to change its programming to focus the problems of the planet from one of his manifestos, he said global warming is a reality. the massive extinction of animal is happening all over the world. now let us begin the debate on how to save the planet. he says we can't wait anymore. something must be done immediately. let's act on it right away. and apparently, this is how 43-year-old james jay lee has decided to act. we know people who work at discovery, they own animal planet, tlc, the one you're righting from, this is from a couple years ago when he first came to law enforcement's
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attention for a disorderly conduct charge there back in 2008. also among the quotes on his website, urging the company to expose civilization for the filth that it is. it puts its focus on how people can keep from giving birth to quote filthy children since they are pollution. very strong language. but from pete williams at nbc and police, no signs of any threats on this website or indication of violence. again 1:00, this gunman came in to the front lobby, waving a handgun, wearing metallic canister devices. perhaps two pipe bombs. wls some type of bags that could, police are under the assumption, be vote with explosives. he is with a small number of hostage right now, we believe on the first floor there. about 1,900 people again work in these discovery headquarters.
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this whole complex here. it is a big l-shaped building, about ten, 12 stories. and is really as i've said before, has been a focal point of redevelopment, revitalization there in downtown silver spring. >> discovery building is the hub of it. it is when they put that building up, all of the development began to spring up around discovery. before that, there were a lot of run-down, old buildings. now you have a little metropolis there. lots of restaurants. it is and a heavily traveled area. not just the residents but from folks around the region and the country. go now to silver spring to visit the discovery building, to visit the afi theater, to shop and eat in those restaurants. >> and the broadcast, as you mentioned, very popular shows. it is known throughout the world right here. and it draws people from all over our region to go there to
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work. we should let you know, we've just gotten word the ceo and founder of discovery, not in the building at the time when this all unfolded. and we've gotten word from montgomery county schools, all the schools are out. the school day was not disturbed. all the kids got on the buses. some of the trips took a little bit longer but they are sxaf sou safe and sound. >> the ceo and the executives were not in the building. we have no indication that they've responded to this hostage crisis. or responded to the gunman's demands, whatever they may be. >> that may be at the request of negotiators, too, they may not want them in on what is happening right now in these delicate conversations. they are in contact by telephone with this 43-year-old suspect, james jay lee. originally from california, in the silver spring area for four or five years now. >> and has a history of problem
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with discovery's programs. he was arrested back in 2008 in february. he was convicted of disorderly conduct. he was fined $500. he was given a six-month suspended sentence and he was ordered to stay at least 500 feet away from this building because of the protests that he stage there'd against discovery's programming back in 2008. apparently, he is taking his protest to another level. i was just reading another page on the website where he has a myspace page with 130 friends. and one of of his last postingse references a book called "myish male" by daniel quinn. and it is about a goreilgorilla. and the discovery channel and the affiliate channels, the suspect we're talking about, writes the discovery channel
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must have daily tv programs that prime time based on daniel quinn's "my ish mail" book. we don't know if this is one of his demand but we do know those negotiations are ongoing. police have indicated this is a good thing. it has been dragging out for more than three hours. 3:35. and the longer it drags out, hopefully, the better this will turn out. >> we're waiting for a news conference from police. we have not confirmed the entire building has been evacuated. there could be a few people on the upper levels. we know there is a small number of people being held as hostages in the lobby area, we believe. police, s.w.a.t. team negotiators have been in contact since about 1:15 this afternoon. shortly after this all began.
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pat collins recalls hearing from a vendor and witnesses. a vendor yelling, get down, he has a gun. at that moment by the dozens, they started pouring out and running away from the building very, very fast. we want to check in with rob maroni with the police. he is going to be joining us. he is on his way in now. it will be interesting to find out from his perspective, and we've been talking to pete william. the longer this goes on and they're in could not tack, that is a good sign according to police. meanwhile, if you can imagine, i used to live in downtown silver spring. a few blocks north of where this is happening. and i remember the old silver spring with the rundown buildings and remember the protest over when to do with
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that area, how to develop it. how to put a big, what do you call it? roller coaster in downtown silver spring or whether to develop it the way it has been developed. with the restaurants and the office buildings and the discovery building which was a big part of silver spring's rebirth. for those who live in that area or go through it, it is hard to imagine now, this lockdown of that downtown area. there is literally an armada of police vehicles surrounding the building. armed police officers, s.w.a.t. teams with their weapons drawn. there has been a one-block perimeter cordoned off around the discovery building. police are trying to keep people away from that building. many people are inquisitive and there are a lot of folk on foot milling in and around the area trying to get some sense of what's going on.
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and of course everyone, and as they head for home from their day's work. >> and darcy spencer has been talking to a number of them. before we go to darcy, i noticed on msnbc's website right now, and i don't know whether you mentioned this burk it reports that lee has a page on myspace with, as you said, about 130 friends. we're seeing thousands starting to stream out right now in downtown silver spring on their way home from adjacent office buildings and neighboring buildings throughout downtown where they have been in lockdown, too. some have been ordered to stay in their offices. others were ordered earlier on to evacuate. darcy spencer is streetside for us. are you starting to see a lot more people on the roads now? pedestrians? >> reporter: yeah, we've been seeing a steady stream of pedestrians. you can see behind me people trying to figure out where to go. one of the entrances is block off to the silver spring metro staying. and if you talk to folk, not
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everybody knows where the different entrances are. some are trying to figure out how to get to another metro station. one guy said he was told to go to the tacoma station a couple miles away. it is extremely hot out here and there is a lot of confusion. i wanted to piggy book what pat was talking about, having been in this area for quite some time. having covered the redevelop many and revitalization in silver spring. $1 billion worth of investment here that came in. it goes back that far and revitalizing this area. the discovery building was a very important piece to that revitalization. some of the people we talked to today were mentioning how important this building has been here. in bringing jobs to this area, making people feel safe. it has really transformed downtown silver spring. the people we spoke to say this won't stop them from wanting to work here and wanting to be here. they're looking at this as an isolated incident. these incidents are happening, as you watch the news, all over the country. and they're just hoping the
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situation is resolved peacefully. as you'll see, strains of people coming through this area, getting off work. i spoke to a gentleman a few minutes ago about trying to catch the metro bus. he said his bus normally picks him up on georgia avenue which is currently closed and he wasn't sure where he is supposed to pick up the bus. i heard him ask a law enforcement officer. that officer didn't know what to tell him. you can see montgomery county police with traffic control. we're at georgia avenue and cameron street right here about a couple blocks north of the incident scene. you can see police are diverting traffic. trying to keep vehicles and traffic out of the area where the incident is taking place. we've been talking to a steady stream of people. one gentleman i spoke to said he was at the red lobster very close to the discovery building this morning. when he heard, what he believed
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were gunshots. let's hear what he had to say. >> it sounded like two pops. i caught two. it happened so quick. people were crying, scared. nobody knew what was going on. it happened so quick. >> they were in the street? >> people almost got hit it was. crazy. >> reporter: police are not confirming whether there were any gunshots. we're waiting for an update from police on whether any gunshots were fired this afternoon. a steady flow of people trying to figure out how they're going to get home. making their way to area bus stop and area metro stations. many of them walking out in extremely high temperatures. i imagine some people are probably parked in some of the parking lots. parking garages and not able to get to their vehicles if they're in this area that is closed off. it has been a very trying afternoon here in downtown silver spring.
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people are going to have to wait it out and figure out how they're going to resolve their particular situation. whether they need to catch a metro bus or get on the metro train. figure out how to maneuver around this area that is closed off here georgia avenue. i'm darcy spencer reporting live from silver spring. back to you. >> a confusing evening for a lot of folk. thank you so much. >> joining us now is retired sergeant rob maroni of maryland state police. thank you for coming in. give us your sense of how thing are developing and what the procedure would be in negotiating with a suspect like this. >> in a situation like, this safety is paramount for the people in the building when this occurred. the suspect himself and for law enforcement. they just can't rush in and take some action immediately. you have a situation with a
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gentleman with a weapon, possibly a weapon and an explosive device. you have to use a lot of caution and go in slowly. you have to believe his threats are real, if there are any made, and his devices are real, whatever they are, without solid confirmation. so the first thing is to evacuate the building in a safe and cautious manner and cordon off and ensure the safety of the hostages and he have one involved. >> sergeant, three and a half hours they've been in contact by telephone. is this a good sign? you say this could be early in the process. this could be a very long evening. >> some hostage situations doing extremely long and this one could also. but the good thing is they do have communication and hopefully some type of dial would go the suspect. that would be a positive thing at this point in time. >> then they do have dialogue. they established could not tack with him around 1:15. can you address at all what you think the psychology in this man's mind could be?
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based on what we've read, what he's written. and what we know about his history. the protests he's held outside the discovery building, rusting from protests in 2008. >> he obviously has an agenda. he's made that very clear by his protests and actions in the past. now he's taken it a step further by escalating it a step further. by going in with a weapon, a suspected weapon and a suspected bomb. you have to take everything he says very seriously. so having a dialogue with him is very important to find out what they can do to bring this to a peaceful and quiet resolution. >> we've flared pat collins and bids the only thing he uttered initially was stay still. that he has a small, small number of hostages. but that there could be others in the building. their safety right now is paramount and has been from the
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very beginning. and that's what negotiators are keeping in the forefront of their minds. is that right? >> yes. you're dealing with the police department. the montgomery county police department is very professional. they've had several hostage situations before so they're very well trained. i'm sure their negotiator are some of the best in the business and they know what they're doing and they're going tad everything they can to ensure the safety of the hostages. >> what do you read into the fact, police don't confirm that a shot was fired. the witnesses have said there were shots fired, at least one shot fired. if he indeed is, as we believe, holding hostages and no one as we believe, has been injured. does that tell you anything? >> that gives you reason to believe the possible weapon would be a weapon. at least it would confirm for law enforcement on the scene that it is a usable weapon. which would obviously milwaukee it a tougher category when you're dealing with the suspect. as i said earlier, possibly a weapon and an explosive device.
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they know for sure that it is an active weapon, they know what they're dealing. with there have been a lot of hostage situations where people have used fake guns. that would change the whole schematics of the situation. if they knew that, as to how they would approach it. they don't know for sure whether his explosive device is real or not and what we're getting from law enforcement sources. we don't know if it is a real weapon or not. you have to believe it is and treat it as it is, until you know differently. >> do we know, sergeant, if he could be watching all of this unfold is in the lobby with scores of monitors that broadcast programming and perhaps other programming as well. do they have to act under the assumption that those monitors are hot and that he could be watching this? >> of course they do. that's why any information that the police have, any dialogue they have with him, they'll hole that close to the vest. that's between him and the negotiators to try to bring this to a peaceful resolution.
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>> when you talk about this dragging out, this could go on a long time. how long do you think they will wait? >> you can't predict a situation like this. it could be over in five minutes. it could be over in five hours or two days. it is a large building. we don't know whether they have him in one place in the building or if he is mobile in the building. we don't know how many hostages they have. every little clue they get that we may not know is something that can help them work closer to a peaceful resolution. >> sergeant maroni from state police, thank you for coming in and sharing your insights. we appreciate it. here is some of what we know about the man to be the alleged gunman. he is james jay lee. he is 43 years old. he has previous addresses in
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hawaii, california and washington state but he has lived in our area the past several years. >> in march of 2008, he was convicted of disorderly conduct after organizing a protest outside the discovery building where he is holed up now. he said discovery did not have enough programming about environmental issues. the judge in the case gave him a six-month suspended sentence and warned him he could face 60 days in jail if he ever again came within 500 feet of that building. obviously he has done that today. >> we want to go back live. we're seeing some video here. tell us what we're seeing. mark, in this video from earlier. this is video posted on youtube. described as being from that 2008 protest outside discovery headquarters. lee, again, accused of throwing several thousand dollars in cash up into the air. we heard that from pete william. to draw more people to the protest. this was wintertime, 2008. after this, ordered to stay 500
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feet away from discovery headquarters there. that is the protest in question. that on youtube as we've reported throughout the afternoon. he has his own website that we have been reading from throughout the afternoon with some pretty strong language about the environment. >> here again, a live look at downtown silver spring. which is locked down because of this hostage situation. a suspect holed up inside the discovery building with several witnesses. jackie benson is live on the scene. >> reporter: what we can tell you, we want to give great compliments and kudos to montgomery county police. after a couple hours of chaos and confusion, rush hour is settling down to be normal. at least where we are at coleville road. possibly even lighter than usual. on many roads in this area have been reopened. the situation with metro is a lucky one in that it is still open. what is confuse spg the way they
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would normally walk, where they pick up the buses is closed. metro transit police and homeland security officers are here on the scene. they're directing them to the other side of the street and they are able to pick up their buses from there. we do have people walking around. trying to figure out exactly where they are to pick up their buses. certain floy situation where there are hundreds and hundreds of people standing around. there is some confusion but i think people are trying to be as patient as possible. >> i just got here before i left work. i figured it would be crazy. >> nobody is telling us where to go. >> reporter: so people are walk around in the heat. they're trying to find where they're going. as more officers arrive and passenger tell other passengers, things are slowly, slowly settling down to a more normal, much less chaotic scene hear. back to you. >> all right. jackie bensen, thank you. live pictures from our chopper
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scene. this is where the drama started to unfold about 1:00 this afternoon. the world headquarters at discovery a gunman walked in waving one beganman, wearing metallic canister devices. we've been will they do look like two pipe bombs. told everyone to stay down. that protest from a couple years bag brought him to the tang of law enforcement in silver spring. >> the building houses approximately 1,900 workers. it has been evacuated for the most part. police do not know whether there are still employees somewhere in that building, maybe hiding in the building or maybe still in their offices, trying to remain conceal from the gunman. employees earlier were told to stay in their offices. to close the doors. they were locked down. they were told not to come out. many of them that they watched from their office window. police surrounded and swarmed the building.
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and then they kuwaitly evacuated from the building via a stairwell inside the building and they were taken out of one of the many exits in that building. a lot of them have told us they texted one another. that they sent e-mail communications to one another. and that's how they were able to spread the word around the building amongst themselves about what may have been happening. >> a lot of it is napping other buildings around us. people have been told to stay in police or evacuate as the case may be. depending on how close zmer what kind of line of sight they have on their lobby. we should let you know, 1,900 employees. we do have a small number. that's the word that police are using. a small number hostages with the gunman right now. no word as to whether there are any injuries to report. >> again, live pictures in downtown silver spring. this has pretty much paralyzed the area.
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if you've ever traveled through silver spring heading out to montgomery county, or north on georgia avenue toward wheaton, you know there is literally quite a lot of traffic that would generally be flowing through that area at this hour. just before 5:00. all those roads have been blocked. all that traffic has had to be diverted around that building. not just around that building and that block burk diverted for blocks around. it is certainly reverb celebrating throughout the area and no doubt bringing quite a bit of anxiety and inconvenience for folks who use those routes. >> we're waiting on a press conference that begins at 5:00 for police. for any updates, there is our mike stand position right there. they had little to say last time. we learned a lot about the suspect about an hour and a half ago, however. darcy spencer mentioned a pedestrian that she talked to just getting off, was going to walk at the takoma park station
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about two miles away. we should let you know, the red line through silver spring is running as is the marc train service. buses, however, metro buses are being detoured around the area. that's where a lot of this problem will be, i know what the car traffic that kent get through. georgia avenue close in the both directions, colesville road close in the both directions as well. there were school buses that have been would be part of the regular traffic flow through that area. they were dlatd this afternoon just before 5:00. we would hope that many of those children have made their by to the destinations and have been reunited with their parents. there was a daycare center. there is a daycare center located across the street from the discovery building. located near mcdonald's restaurant. that today care center had to be evacuated and we saw parents clutching their children. rolling their youngsters in
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strollers away from that area. they got out safely. they've been reunited and everybody is out safe. and no one has to our knowledge been injured. >> fwreng our team of reporters, aaron gilchrist, pat collins, jackie bensen. since the beginning, about 1:15, 1:30, they've seen police cruisers coming in. armored vehicles. we've had homeland security, maryland state police and of course, montgomery county pli all oh this. along with fire truck and ambulances in position as well. we've seen some s.w.a.t. team members go in through different entrances at different points of the day. we aren't sure where that was happening. again, we have a huge law enforcement presence around discovery right now as they continue these negotiations. they've been going to against intense 1:15.
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>> a waiting game at this point. everybody wants to reach a resolution as quickly as possible. however, safety is of paramount importance. the safety of anyone in the building. the safety of the hostages. safety of the people in the surrounding area. we don't know if he is in possession of explosivesful police tell with his walk into the building around 1:00, that he was brandishing a weapon and appears to have met attic canisters of explosive material attached to his body. >> and said stay down. that was all we've gotten in term of a direct quote. workers started running in very fast to get away as they could on foot. these live pictures, this is our vantage point. we've gotten three or four
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different angles on the discovery headquarters. there are windows just about on every corner of the building. it is really a shining example of architecture down there. and has been a real focal point for future develop many all around there. once this went up, we saw everything take off in downtown silver spring. it has been a jewel there for montgomery county and meant great thing for silver spring in terms of housing and commercial development as well. we should let you know, the ceo founder not inside the building when all of this drama began to unfold. something else we learned a short time ago, montgomery county school got out on time. all kids are home safely. it took a little long order some bus rides because of detours but that is not an issue. the school system is not an issue. police are approaching right now. there is chief tom manger. first up, we have captain starks.
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>> in just a few seconds, chief manger of the montgomery county police department will make a statement. with him is the chief from montgomery county fire and rescue, richard bowers and also with him, the montgomery county state's attorney, john mccarthy. this will be chief manger. >> at approximately 1:00 this afternoon, an asian male entered the discovery building in silver spring. he had what we believe to be explosive devices strapped to his front and back. he also had a handgun. there are reports that we've not confirm yet that did he fire a shot when he came in. he took three people hostage near the lobby area of the entrance to the building. over the last several hours, we've been in negotiations with the man.
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approximately ten minutes ago, the suspect was shot by police officers. the device appeared to go off. we haven't confirm that as of this time. we saw some smoke. we may have heard a pop but we haven't confirmed the informing yet. the hostages, there were three hostages. all the hostages are safe and are out of the building. at this point, we're still, it is still an operation is, a joint operation between the police and fire rescue because there are other suspected devices in the building that have not been rendered safe, a

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